Subscribe: Psychiatric Bulletin current issue
Preview: Psychiatric Bulletin current issue

BJPsych Bulletin current issue

BJPsych Bulletin RSS feed -- current issue


Falls in Scottish homicide: lessons for homicide reduction in mental health patients [Editorials]


The sustained fall in Scottish homicide rates follows crime reduction measures informed by the epidemiology of suicide. The violence reduction unit targeted young men carrying knives in public. The restriction of weapons immediately to hand appears to have caused an absolute fall in homicide just as suicide reduction was observed following changes to domestic gas supply. Further homicide reduction may be accomplished in the domestic setting with targeted changes in kitchen knife design in home safety planning for high-risk households. Most commonly homicides involving those in recent contact with mental health services in the UK have domestic characteristics and similar safety planning may be targeted at those with mental disorder and a history of violence.

Evaluation of the 13-item Hypomania Checklist and a brief 3-item manic features questionnaire in primary care [Original papers]


Aims and method The mean delay for bipolar disorder diagnosis is 10 years. Identification of patients with previous hypomania is challenging, sometimes resulting in misdiagnosis. The aims of this study were: (a) to estimate the proportion of primary care patients with depression currently taking antidepressants who have undiagnosed bipolar disorder and (b) to compare a brief 3-item manic features questionnaire with the Hypomania Checklist (HCL-13). The sample comprised patients with a recorded diagnosis of depression, either on long-term antidepressant therapy or with previous multiple courses of antidepressants.

Results Of 149 participants assessed, 24 (16.1%) satisfied criteria for bipolar disorder. Areas under the curve (AUC) for the 3-item questionnaire and the HCL-13 were similar (0.79 and 0.72, respectively) but positive predictive values (PPV) were low.

Clinical implications Bipolar disorder may be underdiagnosed in primary care. A 3-item questionnaire could be used by general practitioners to screen for bipolar disorder in their patients with depression.

Flexible assertive community treatment (FACT) model in specialist psychosis teams: an evaluation [Original papers]


Aims and method The impact of flexible assertive community treatment (FACT) has been observed in people previously supported by assertive community treatment (ACT) teams, but its effect on those previously with a community mental health team (CMHT) has not been studied in the UK. An observational study was conducted of 380 people from 3 CMHTs and 95 people from an ACT team, all with a history of psychosis, following service reconfiguration to 3 FACT teams.

Results People previously with a CMHT required less time in hospital when the FACT model was introduced. A smaller reduction was observed in people coming from the ACT team. Both groups required less crisis resolution home treatment (CRHT) team input.

Clinical implications FACT may be a better model than standard CMHT care for people with a history of psychosis, as a result of reduced need for acute (CRHT and in-patient) services.

Burnout and psychiatric morbidity among doctors in the UK: a systematic literature review of prevalence and associated factors [Review Article]


Aims and method To systematically review the prevalence and associated factors of burnout and stress-related psychiatric disorders among UK doctors. An extensive search was conducted of PubMed, EBSCOhost and British medical journals for studies published over a 20-year span measuring the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity (using the General Health Questionnaire) and burnout (using the Maslach Burnout Inventory).

Results Prevalence of psychiatric morbidity ranged from 17 to 52%. Burnout scores for emotional exhaustion ranged from 31 to 54.3%, depersonalisation 17.4 to 44.5% and low personal accomplishment 6 to 39.6%. General practitioners and consultants had the highest scores. Factors significantly associated with increase in the prevalence of burnout and psychiatric morbidity include low job satisfaction, overload, increased hours worked and neuroticism.

Clinical implications The results indicate a worryingly high rate of burnout and psychiatric morbidity among UK doctors, which could have a huge negative impact on healthcare provision in general. Factors at personal and organisational levels contribute to burnout and psychiatric morbidity, and so efforts made to counter these problems should target both levels.

The impact of transforming care on the care and safety of patients with intellectual disabilities and forensic needs [Special articles]


NHS England recently published a national plan to develop community services for people with intellectual disabilities and autism who display challenging behaviour by using resources from the closure of a large number of hospital beds. An ambitious timescale has been set to implement this plan. The bed closure programme is moving ahead rapidly, but there has been little progress in developing community services to support it. This paper discusses the impact of the gap between policy and practice on the care and safety of patients with intellectual disabilities and forensic needs who form a distinct subgroup of the target population and are being disproportionately affected by this government policy.

Prevent: what is pre-criminal space? [Special articles]


Prevent is a UK-wide programme within the government's anti-terrorism strategy aimed at stopping individuals from supporting or taking part in terrorist activities. NHS England's Prevent Training and Competencies Framework requires health professionals to understand the concept of pre-criminal space. This article examines pre-criminal space, a new term which refers to a period of time during which a person is referred to a specific Prevent-related safeguarding panel, Channel. It is unclear what the concept of pre-criminal space adds to the Prevent programme. The term should be either clarified or removed from the Framework.

Drug information update. Atypical antipsychotics and neuroleptic malignant syndrome: nuances and pragmatics of the association [Special articles]


Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a rare but potentially fatal adverse event associated with the use of antipsychotics. Although atypical antipsychotics were initially considered to carry no risk of NMS, reports have accumulated over time implicating them in NMS causation. Almost all atypical antipsychotics have been reported to be associated with NMS. The clinical profile of NMS caused by certain atypical antipsychotics such as clozapine has been reported to be considerably different from the NMS produced by typical antipsychotics, with diaphoresis encountered more commonly, and rigidity and tremor encountered less frequently. This article briefly discusses the evidence relating to the occurrence, presentation and management of NMS induced by atypical antipsychotics.

Drug information update. Lithium and chronic kidney disease: debates and dilemmas [Special articles]


Lithium is an established treatment for bipolar disorder and an augmenting agent for treatment-resistant depression. Despite awareness of renal adverse effects, including chronic kidney disease, for the past five decades, there has been a lack of research evidence. This has led to debates around the existence and magnitude of the risk. This article discusses the current evidence base regarding the link between lithium and chronic kidney disease, monitoring of renal functions and its clinical implications.

Shared decision-making in medication management: development of a training intervention [Education & training]


Shared decision-making is a collaborative process in which clinicians and patients make treatment decisions together. Although it is considered essential to patient-centred care, the adoption of shared decision-making into routine clinical practice has been slow, and there is a need to increase implementation. This paper describes the development and delivery of a training intervention to promote shared decision-making in medication management in mental health as part of the Shared Involvement in Medication Management Education (ShIMME) project. Three stakeholder groups (service users, care coordinators and psychiatrists) received training in shared decision-making, and their feedback was evaluated. The programme was mostly well received, with all groups rating interaction with peers as the best aspect of the training. This small-scale pilot shows that it is feasible to deliver training in shared decision-making to several key stakeholders. Larger studies will be required to assess the effectiveness of such training.

Trainee experiences of intellectual disability psychiatry and an innovative leaderless support group: a qualitative study [Education & training]


Aims and method There is very little research into the challenges of training in intellectual disability psychiatry or into interventions which may address these challenges. Using focus groups, we explored the experiences of intellectual disability psychiatry trainees, and evaluated a leaderless trainee support group developed in Bristol.

Results Five distinct themes were identified via framework analysis: that trainees felt unprepared for the difference from previous posts; the need for support; the value of the group; that trainees were concerned about judgement in supervision; that the group structure was valued.

Clinical implications Our findings highlight the support needs specific to intellectual disability psychiatry trainees. Leaderless peer support groups may be a valued resource to address such issues, and may be a useful model to be considered by other training schemes.

Seeing, spots and blots [Correspondence]